Startup Olympics This Saturday

The Olympic Games have borne many legends – Jesse Owens, Mary Lou Retton, Michael Phelps, Eddie the Eagle, and the Jamaican Bobsled team, to name a few – all world-class athletic innovators in their respective sports.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, a new league of innovative legends will emerge during the inaugural Austin Startup Olympics, a grueling 10-event competition featuring eight of Austin’s elite startups – Adlucent, Boundless Network, Build-a-Sign, Mass Relevance, SpareFoot, Spredfast, uShip, and WhaleShark Media.

The Austin Startup Olympics start at 2 pm CST at uShip World Headquarters, 205 Brazos Street in downtown. Austin Media are welcome at this private event. The public is invited to an after-party for charity (see below).

The Games We Play

The five-hour event will determine Austin’s gold, silver and bronze winners in quintessential startup “sports,” including Ping Pong, Foosball, Beer Pong, Obstacle Course, Flip Cup, Pop-a-Shot, Darts, Shuffleboard, Connect Four and Trivia by Geeks Who Drink.   Events resulting in ties will be settled with Rock-Paper-Scissors, in accordance with Austin Startup rules and bylaws. For more information on the competing companies and events, visit  Follow the Startup Olympics on Twitter at

Playing for Charity

Competing companies are not only playing for pride but also for charity.  Each has identified an organization to which winning money will be awarded. Charities chosen include Austin Pets Alive, Austin Pro Bono, Capital Area Food Bank, Communities in Schools of Central Texas, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, Kure It, and Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation. Sponsors for the event include Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Cedar Door.

After-Party at Club De Ville

Starting at 8 pm, participants invite the public to the Startup Olympics After-Party and Award Ceremony at Club De Ville (map). Bands performing at the after-party include Burgess Meredith and The Lemurs. All proceeds from the $10 cover charge will benefit local charities.

Silicon Valley Challenge

In addition to throwing a post-Games party, Startup Olympics organizers are tossing out a challenge to other startups, particularly those in Silicon Valley, of which many will converge on Austin for the SXSW Interactive conference beginning March 9.  Out-of-area startups are encouraged to bring their best to SXSWi for a friendly bout of competition at uShip.  Interested companies should visit for contact information.

“Guys like Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican Bobsled team were true innovators, giving their particular sports a new twist, a new look that made them legendary,” said Shawn Bose of uShip and co-Chair of the Austin Startup Olympics.

“You’ll find that same innovation among Austin’s startups – not only among those competing in the event, but citywide,” said Bose.  “We’ve brought new ideas to existing industries and businesses. Many of these ideas came about during fierce games of ping pong, beer pong or even Connect Four while squatting at ‘innovative work spaces’ like Crown and Anchor Pub and Mozart’s Coffee Roasters.”

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About Bryan Menell

Bryan is the Managing Editor for AustinStartup and the CEO of Mahana. He is a co-founder of Capital Factory, an investor and advisor, and runs the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour with his wife.


  1. Good morning Bryan,

    I heard about Capital Factory at the Chamber of Austin’s Start Up Village luncheon yesterday. I would like to connect with you to learn more about Cap Factory as I recently founded Start Up Katalyst to offer start ups more business development and strategy. I heard about the event this Sat at Build A Sign this morning and will stop by. Great stuff!! Let me know when we can connect.

    Irene Mwathi

  2. Antzy Pansty says:

    Irene Mwathi! Get out of here you dirty lil spammer! Capital Factory doesn’t need to meet up with “Start Up Katalyst” which offers “more business development and strategy.” WTF does that even mean you buzz word Queen?!! Hehehe great stuff indeed. Go shove it and leave the VC rockstars alone and peddle your snake oil b.s. some where else. Chai Walla, Chai Walla!

  3. Wow Shocked says:

    Um. As a newbie here in Austin, I’m excited to hear about a budding entrepreneur scene. I’ve become captivated by the so called “social revolution” and I even have a few StartUp ideas of my own. Although everyone seems very welcoming, it is an intimidating/daunting task trying to figure out where, or who, to reach out to and get involved in the whole “scene.” After reading the post above by Antzy Pansty (I’m assuming she meant “Pantsy,”) I’m shocked at the spirit and tone in the words that were spewed toward Irene Mwathi. Maybe Irene is sincere? Couldn’t her intentions are pure? I certainly don’t see anything wrong with starting up a “Katalyst” business to reach out to budding businesses who are looking for help. Last, if Capital Factory has a “rock star” mentality, and can’t be bothered by us little people, doesn’t that go against their very reason for existing as an incubator of young innovators? Anyway, after reading those comments, I feel even more intimidated and worried. Could I also be decapitated, if I reach out to connect. Next time, put your real name on your post, so I don’t feel the need to conceal mine for fear of getting publicly reamed. Poor taste indeed, and I really hope someone is monitoring these comments.